Rogers class action lawsuit filed in court after network outage

A Quebec man has launched a class action lawsuit against Rogers, accusing the telecoms giant of being negligent and “paralyzing the country for an entire day” after last week’s nationwide blackout.

The major outage was felt across the country, disrupting not only text messages and mobile data, but also customers’ ability to call 911 and make purchases through debit payment systems.

The class action lawsuit, filed by LPC law firm Avocat Inc. in Superior Court Monday in Montreal, seeks $400 for members who are Rogers clients affected by the network outage on July 8-9. It is also seeking compensation for Rogers’ sub-brand clients, such as Fido Mobile and Chatr Mobile.

Arnaud Verdier of Quebec is named as the applicant in the legal filing before the Superior Court. A Rogers customer since June 2020, he was “shocked” that his carrier was only offering the equivalent of two days of service to customers to compensate them for the outage,” according to the request to authorize the class action lawsuit.

In a statement Saturday, Rogers Chairman and CEO Tony Staffieri blamed the cause of the “network system failure” on a “maintenance update” in the company’s core network.

In the legal filing, Verdier wrote that Rogers should have tested the update before deploying it, which is known in the IT world as “staging.”

“It also appears that Rogers performed his update without a ‘rollback’. Regardless of the exact technique [sic] reason, this breach can only be qualified as gross negligence on the part of Rogers,” the disgruntled customer alleged in the application.

He sued because he believed the two-day credit was “wholly inadequate” for the damage suffered, claimed that Rogers was “misleading” him by advertising that it was “the most reliable network in Canada,” and because he wanted to hold Rogers accountable. for his “negligence” in making 911 services inaccessible to his customers for an extended period of time.

Rogers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CTV News about the allegations.

Evidence filed with the lawsuit shows that Rogers was allegedly instructing store staff last Friday to remove signs containing “Connect to Canada’s Most Reliable 5G Network” marketing material on the day of the outage.

Verdier alleged that he suffered damages far in excess of two days’ service credit.

He explained that on the day of the blackout he was driving from St-Hubert, Que. to the off-island suburb of Blainville in Montreal, which usually takes about an hour by car. However, since he couldn’t navigate Google Maps with his smartphone “to the fastest route (ie to avoid traffic), the trip on July 8 took him 90 minutes,” the app claimed.

“The extra 30 minutes on the road not only cost the applicant more gas money (currently at about $2.00 a liter), but he was extremely stressed because he was stuck in traffic in Montreal and knew he wouldn’t be able to call 9-1. -1 in case of emergency”.

The app also said that he was unable to purchase lunch with his debit card last Friday.

“In this case, the problems and inconveniences caused as a direct result of Rogers’ fault and negligence as alleged above (failure to ensure that proper security measures were implemented, such as a rollback, staging, etc.), outweigh the normal inconveniences that a person in 21st century encounters and should be required to accept,” the application alleges.

“In fact, a full day outage for the entire country because Rogers was negligent in performing his maintenance update…is unprecedented.”

Verdier is seeking $200 per member for failing to serve customers and an additional $200 per member for the claim that Rogers made “misrepresentations” about having the most reliable network.

The app also seeks compensation on behalf of non-Rogers customers who were unable to make electronic debit and Interac transfers during the outage period.

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